This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
“Come on,” Mama was saying after another suspicious sound had caught her ears. She was careful to disguise the fear in her voice.
Her pup knew something was wrong. “Mama?” she said, pushing closer to the wolf as they walked. It was the only word she’d learned, and she used it when she was scared and needed Mama’s comforting presence. “Mama.”
“Be quiet, baby.”
The whole pack stopped, and so did Mama and her pup. Everyone was looking around, eyes boring through thick flurries of snow and into the surrounding woods.
Several minutes passed of silence except for the wind whooshing past their sensitive ears, then the gunshots rang out.
Wolves fell here and there, sometimes two at once. Mama could see them now. They were standing amid the trees, bundled in thick, heavy coats while she and the other wolves were out in the open, exposed to the hunters with only their camouflaging white fur working to their advantage. She picked her pup up in her mouth and bolted into the woods.
Gunshots aimed at her friends and family had begun to fade, but those aimed at her were earsplitting. She worked low-hanging branches and exposed tree roots into her route to hinder the hunter following her, but nothing slowed the hunter down.
A bullet narrowly missed her right hind leg, throwing snow onto her as she veered left and increased her speed. She passed another low-hanging branch, then another exposed tree root. Maybe they’d earn her more time, but no. The bullets were still coming, one hitting the snow by her left side, another flying over her head. She was about to lose hope when she saw the cave.
She curved around a cluster of trees and descended the slope toward the darkened cave. When she was inside, she ventured into its depths as far as she dared until she was in complete darkness and waited.
She heard the peaceful whisper of the breeze and the quick crunching of snow under thick snow boots, then saw him. He stopped just yards from the cave opening, his gun pointed as he looked around. He hadn’t noticed the cave, but it was only a matter of time.
Mama held her breath for what felt like hours, waiting for the hunter to come into the cave and end her and her baby’s life. No, not her baby’s life. The hunter can kill me, Mama thought, but not my baby.
To her relief, the hunter moved on, disappearing to her left, but she continued to hold her breath because that was when she heard the crunch of a rock echo from somewhere deep within the cave, followed by a heavy footstep, then another and another until the beast was there, staring down at her and roaring in her face. She turned away from the bear and darted out the cave, her pup still dangling from her teeth.
She went straight, knowing to her left was a hunter, to her right were more hunters, and behind her was a raging bear, but was still in trouble because the bear’s roar had attracted the hunter’s attention.
She knew there was nowhere left to hide, and the hunter had her in his sights. A bullet hit the tree she had just rounded; another skinned her side. She leaped over a fallen tree, hoping to evade the bloodthirsty bullets cascading around her, but miscalculated the jump and tripped over the tree, sending her pup flying.
She picked herself up and hurried over to her pup, lowering her head toward her as she considered picking her back up and running with her again, but the hunter was too close. He’d kill them both if she carried her with her. Her pup would be safest where she was, she decided, as long as she stayed hidden.
The pup poked her head out of the snow just as the hunter had passed. “Mama!” she called, watching in horror as Mama ran for her life. She picked herself up and watched as Mama and the hunter disappeared over the horizon, then there was a lone gunshot.
Althea Kerr: This is a tale that is all too familiar to South African readers having lived through a war era on our borders and beyond. It is obviously autobiographical as the mind under duress is so detailed and real. It has fantastic suspense if a bit disjointed - perhaps that is the fear and loneliness com...
sujitha nair: What's so distinct about this story was that it could easily be real. Praveena can be your classmate, neighbor or that girl you saw at the coffee shop today. The important decisions she makes and the dilemmas she faces, remind us of our own twisted lives.
Animeviewer: It is one of the best stories I've ever read. This story will have you riding a roller coaster of emotions and nearly dying to know what happens next.You will get very attached to the characters and in my case I relate well with some of their very traumatic or emotional experiences, Just Juliet f...
Patrick Johns: The Prince was an exciting read. I enjoyed the spoiled bratty protagonist and his drastic change through out the story. The world building was well though out and clear. The author did a great job painting a picture for the reader without having a map. I liked the connection to real life leaders....
OpheliaJones: This story took a different kind of spin on the "normal girl lives with definitely not normal guy" plot. The plot points of Frey's father, Liam's family, and Frey's view of Liam's world were good to read. She did not fall in love with him in the first couple weeks. Their lives were not smooth in ...
Sam: Sam Thank you. Your story was enjoyable reading that sucked me in and give me a stomach ache. Everything always works its way to good even when you think it is so bad as you go through it. Makes you appreciate life more. Great story, looking forward to reading your next story.Oct 20.2017
farziex3: I think this novel is perfect because it had erotic, romance, and towards the end was a twist so I was just on the edge of my seat reading this book. It was honestly really amazing. I haven't found a book I actually liked to read for almost 2-3 years and this was a great book to start off. Makes ...
Angel S. Adames Corraliza: Sensational! As a fan of superheroes, I have to say, you have a real winner of a story so far. I like that you made Allison a Wonder Woman expy, but kept her likable and relate-able in this first chapter. You showed us the Mother while also glancing at the Superhero, which I think is important to...
Deidre L. Swain: I understood where the story was going but the writing skills were lacking a lot. There are some places that had no flow. The plot was good which is what kept me reading the whole story. I think the author shows promise. They just need to tighten up on their skills to really get it going
RodRaglin: Your writing is very good, Rachel, but remember you also have to entertain the reader and in that regard it's a bit sparse in action and dialogue.Consider when revising...When starting a new story always consider your protagonist's Goal - what they want; Motivation - why they want it; and, Confli...
ryder: This is an excellent read. From beginning to end the author showed his creative and imaginative writing skills. Twists and turns, surprises, humor, and sorrow: This book has it all. I strongly recommend this book, and I am already recommending it to my friends.